1956 Bentley S-Type (S1)
The Bentley motor car company was founded back in 1919 by brothers W.O. and H.M. Bentley. The Bentley brothers were involved in the motor industry having acquired the agency to sell French built DFP (Doriot, Flandrin & Parant) cars in 1912, however, they desperately wanted to build their own cars. So that they did and the first Bentley motor car, being just a chassis with a dummy engine, was shown at the 1919 London Motor Show and in late 1921 the first production Bentleys were built and delivered to their new owners.
Bentley got the formula right and their cars proved to be luxurious, reliable and fast thus attracting buyers from the elite of society in period. The cars were also incredibly successful on the race track with Bentley achieving the ultimate success winning Le Mans in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930.
The difficult economic times in the late 1920’s had a major impact on Bentley and they stopped motor racing soon after winning Le Mans in 1930 and ultimately fell into receivership in 1931. Rolls Royce acquired the assets of Bentley in late 1931. In this period Bentley produced some fabulous motor cars including the 3 Litre, 4½ Litre, ‘Blower Bentley’, 6½ Litre and 8 Litre models that are all today highly sought after by enthusiast and collectors all over the world. The first new Bentley produced following Rolls Royce’s acquisition was the Bentley 3½ Litre which evolved into the Bentley 4½ Litre. Bentley’s of this era are also known as Derby Bentleys as they were built at Rolls Royce’s factory located in Derby in the north of England. Subsequent models included the Mark V, Mark VI and R-Type.
Rolls Royce introduced the Silver Cloud and the Bentley S-Type in 1955.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer this lovely 1956 Bentley S-Type (S1).
The Rolls Royce / Bentley factory build sheets confirm B493CM was delivered on the 28th August 1956 making it quite an early example of this elegant Bentley. The car was finished in sand over sable with a tan leather interior. The car has body number S1612 and it is fitted with engine number BC496. Both numbers are confirmed as correct by the build sheets.
There are forty four pages of York Motors service records that accompany the car documenting its service history through until November 1977. The latest service document, from 18th August 1977, notes the car’s mileage as 102,603 miles.
The records note that B493CM was sold to Mr C. Hoskins Esq. It is unknown exactly how long Hoskins owned the car, however, by 1965 the car had passed to a Mr James Kelleher of Kelleher & Co. The first service records in Kelleher’s name are from 7th April 1965 and note the mileage as 67,876 miles. It is understood Kelleher lived in Sydney and also had a property in Inverell near the NSW/Queensland border and he loved to use his Bentley for ‘high speed’ commutes.
The current owner acquired B493CM off Gareth Will from TK Motors in 1996. By this time the car had fallen in to a poor state of repair and TK Motors completed significant mechanical work on the car, including an engine rebuild. The car’s new owner then carried out further restoration work including a repaint, fitted an alternator, fitted air conditioning and additional cooling system fans. The car was used on various club events and from time to time as a wedding car and special occasion’s limousine.
Since the owner’s retirement B493CM has been regularly seen on Rolls Royce and Bentley club events. Whilst this car presents very well, it gets used as its makers intended it . . . and that is to be driven! The car has circumnavigated Australia and it also participated in an International Bentley Driver’s Club event that started in Vancouver, Canada, through the Rocky Mountains to Anchorage in Alaska and return. Don’t we wish these cars could talk!
Today the car presents and drives really well. The ‘cirrus grey’ paintwork has a high gloss and is in good condition for a car that has been well used. There is the odd stone chip and blemish evident. The exterior trim, chrome and glass are in good condition. Overall the interior of the car is also in good condition. The tan leather upholstery is well presented with no rips or tears, the timber is excellent as are all of the instruments and controls. The carpets are showing some wear but more than serviceable.
The car starts easily and it performs well on the road. The engine pulls strongly and the car shifts smoothly through the gears. The current owner has completed the simple maintenance tasks himself, however, the car has also been regularly maintained by Rolls Royce and Bentley specialists NBS Services in Brisbane. Prior to sale NBS went over the car and attended to a number of mechanical items.
Accompanying the car is an original owner’s manual, a copy of the original Rolls Royce / Bentley factory build sheets, forty four pages of service records from York Motors, a partially complete tool kit, jack & accessories, a pump and spare wheel. The original radio is not fitted but will also accompany the car. In the photographs the car is shown with Queensland registration plates ‘Q1956’, however, it is being sold unregistered and these plates do not accompany the car. The owner of the car is open to discussing the purchase of the number plates by private treaty.
Today the odometer reads 56,056 miles.
The current owner is relocating and has made the difficult decision that it is time to pass on custodianship of his Bentley. Powered by a 4887 cc six cylinder engine these early Bentley’s are often preferred by purists over the later V8 engined cars. This car presents a fabulous opportunity to enter the world of classic Bentley ownership at a very competitive price point.
- Bentley S1
- 56056 miles